Why 43North

About the Competition

43North, which is Buffalo’s latitude on the world map, is literally putting us on the map in the startup world. The competition continues to operate as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative ($30 million in Buffalo Billion I and $25 million in Buffalo Billion II), with funding supported by the New York Power Authority.

Over the first six years of the competition, 43North has crowned 52 winning startups from across North America and as far away as Taiwan and Israel. Those companies have raised more than $430 million and created 600 jobs since becoming winners.

43North's award structure is as follows:

  • One $1 million grand prize
  • Seven $500,000 runner-up prizes
  • $1 million in follow-on funding

Everything 43North does puts community-first, and for that reason leadership made the difficult decision to cancel the $5M startup competition for 2020, given the great level of uncertainty that surrounds the global pandemic. Until the competition returns in 2021, 43North remain focused on building and fostering Buffalo’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This will come in many forms including community programming and mentorship for our region’s founders, along with an increased focus on 43North’s 51 portfolio companies.

Find more information at 43north.org

Support for the Winners

In addition to the $5 million in prize money, the competition winners will relocate to Buffalo where they will receive free incubator space for a year, guidance from mentors related to their field, and access to other exciting incentive programs such as START-UP NY, a program that enables companies to operate tax-free in New York State for 10 years. 

The winners are entrepreneurial champions who are ready and willing to use their ideas to invigorate the existing business community, attracting additional startups to the region in the future. When that happens, the Buffalo Niagara region will also be a winner with a core of fast-growing companies and exciting new jobs. 

Attracting Innovators From Around the World

In 2014 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched 43North, the most ambitious startup competition ever unveiled in the United States. The competition is designed to systematically generate new business ventures in Western New York, support early-stage firm growth, and attract additional venture funding to the region. With $5 million in cash prizes, including a top award of $1 million, 43North has set out to turn the best new business ideas from around the globe into a reality, right here in our region.